It’s no secret that the Milwaukee Brewers have been exploring alternatives to their current Spring Training facility in recent months. The Brewers have been hosting their games at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix since the facility opened in 1998, but had been playing there on a year-to-year contract since 2015. Earlier this summer rumors swirled regarding possible relocation to facilities in Gilbert and Pima County, but this evening it was announced that a resolution has been reached to stay at Maryvale for the long-term future:
Brewers issued a statement on the Maryvale proposal: pic.twitter.com/dm1geIu9ZR— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) November 10, 2017
Maryvale has fallen behind other, more modern spring training facilities in recent years, but after months of searching elsewhere the Brewers have apparently decided to rectify the situation by taking on the bulk of the cost themselves and simply improving their current digs. Pending the decision of the Phoenix City Council (which will meet on November 15th to discuss the matter), the Brewers have agreed to pony up between $41-$63 mil for renovations to Maryvale Baseball Park, with the city of Phoenix contributing $2 mil per year in each of the next five years for a total contribution of $10 mil. The Brewers would also assume the maintenance and operation of the facility, while the $1.4 mil per year net operating costs would still be the responsibility of the city.
If the proposal is approved, construction on the site would begin shortly after the conclusion of Spring Training in 2018 and be completed by the time the organization was ready to report in spring of 2019. Some of the improvements include a 65,000 square foot clubhouse and office building to house the major league and minor league clubhouses, training facilities, and office space, a wider first base concourse, new concessions, a kids play area, a retail and ticketing building, and more parking. There would even be a practice field expanded to mirror the dimensions of Miller Park.
Also as part of the deal, the Brewers will partner with Grand Canyon University to create more educational opportunities in the area. A Brewers’ employee will also work full-time out of Maryvale to work with the community to expand team funded events with the local schools and community.
The Brewers are the last team still playing their exhibition games within the city limits of Phoenix, and now under this new deal they would continue playing there under a 25 year lease that wouldn’t expire until 2042. Phoenix will remain as the owners of the Maryvale complex, but the Brewers will have the option to purchase the property once the new lease expires.
There have been complaints about the neighborhood, but it appears the Milwaukee Brewers are content to keep partnering with the city of Phoenix and Maryvale Baseball Park for at least another couple of decades.